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    Join the fun every Friday.

  • Grow food not lawns

    As commercial growers pump out more bland, backyard gardeners are getting good at growing their own. Find out about edibles, including chickens here

  • An eye for design

    Plants, rocks and pots are all good. It's how you put them together that counts. Check out our design posts for an eyeful of ideas

October 16, 2014

Fall color for warm climates

A lot of us mistakenly believe that fall color has something to do with climate. But that is only partially true.

Deciduous plants change leaf color in preparation for cold weather, but only because the days are growing shorter. Short days are what trigger the change.

You got to plant it, to get it. Here are eight plants that color up nicely in warm climates:

Crape Myrtle
Japanese Birch
Honey Locust

Check out Los Angeles Arboretum and their fall color events.

Local8Now —Tennessee women gets the slammer for sloppy yard


October 13, 2014

Christopher Columbus’s plant discoveries

Yeah there were the new worlds and all that to be explored, but then there were the plants. The Columbian Exchange is named for the first mass exchange of materials from continent to continent.

The old world shared horses, chickens and smallpox with the Americas.

The Americas gave up the good stuff: vanilla, chocolate, strawberries and coffee.

LATimes: Stealing plants and lawn statues for a cause: frat parties


October 8, 2014

Five fun pumpkin facts

1. Most pumpkins are not true pumpkins, but kinds of squash

2. In fact, pumpkin pie filling is typically squash mixes that include Butternut, Hubbard or Boston Marrow

3. Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years

4. The Jack O’ Lantern originated in Ireland in the form of turnips

5. Not all pumpkins work for pumpkin recipes. For cooking look for Baby Bear, Cinderella, Fairytale and Sugar Pie

Central Florida Future: Your Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte? No pumpkin in the ingredient list. 


October 6, 2014

Peace, Love and Gardening

Head’s up Southern California gardeners: There is new blog all about local gardening called Peace, Love and Gardening by Alex Anderson, hard core gardener just like us.

What’s cool about her blog is she keeps us up to date on happenings with a garden calendar, list of events, and (I love this) a month to month to-do calendar. Plus she’s blogging about her own backyard.

Smithsonian - The world’s most dangerous garden is also the setting of Hogwarts.


September 25, 2014

When our thoughts turn to burgundy

And so we can’t wait to get one with fall colors. This little gem of a sedum named ‘Touchdown Teak’ gives us a fix in deep burgundy shades and new growth in orange.

Grows to 8-inches high and 16-inches wide, tolerates a wide range of soils, can endure dry but, like all succulents, prefers moist. From ParkSeed.

Seattle Times - Residents receive a $1 fine for failure to compost.


September 23, 2014

Difficult plant = profitable crop

It turns out that wasabi - a food we’ve probably never actually had - is the most difficult of all crops to grow commercially according to the BBC. So what are we eating with our tuna roll? Horseradish + food coloring.

Those that can figure out how to grow wasabi are pocketing $90 per pound. It doesn’t seem so hard if you’re familiar with hydroponics. The seeds, however, are guarded like the Hope diamond.

The Mind Unleashed—Scientist say sniffing rosemary can increase memory by 75 percent


September 19, 2014

Free book Friday!

Here’s a fun one for weekend reading, “How The Government Got in Your Backyard” (Timber Press) by Jeff Gillman and Eric Heberlig. Amy Stewart calls it “Freakonomics for the gardening set” and Gillman is one of our favorite investigative authors, anyway.

Gillman and Heberlig look for the truth in organic foods, pesticides, genetic engineering and invasive plants. Not what we’re usually told, mind you, but they could find out, good or bad, for themselves.

To win this thought-provoking bedside read, share in comments the one plant you regret planting. Think invasive.

Last week’s winner of the RHS how-to set of books…..Laurel Baker. Drop us a line with your mailing address, we’ll get your books on the way.


September 16, 2014

Trendy chicken

And so it is….the pure black chicken that also lays black eggs. The meat is black, the feathers and beak are black. Called Ayam Cemani, this Indonesian chicken is the new “it” girl in chicken circles.

If you can’t live without them, order your girls here.

LATimes—Vegetable garden blamed for 1600 acre Silverado Canyon fire.